Group Assertions and Group Lies

Topoi 42 (2):369-384 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Groups, like individuals, can communicate. They can issue statements, make promises, give advice. Sometimes, in doing so, they lie and deceive. The goal of this paper is to offer a precise characterisation of what it means for a group to make an assertion and to lie. I begin by showing that Lackey’s influential account of group assertion is unable to distinguish assertions from other speech acts, explicit statements from implicatures, and lying from misleading. I propose an alternative view, according to which a group asserts a proposition only if it explicitly presents that proposition as true, thereby committing to its truth. This proposal is then put to work to define group lying. While scholars typically assume that group lying requires (i) a deceptive intent and (ii) a belief in the falsity of the asserted proposition, I offer a definition that drops condition (i) and significantly broadens condition (ii).

Similar books and articles

Group Lies and the Narrative Constraint.Säde Hormio - forthcoming - Episteme 19 (First View):1-20.
Group Assertion.Jennifer Lackey - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (1):21-42.
Conflict in Roles.Katherina Glac - 2014 - Business and Society 53 (3):440-460.
Group Belief: Lessons from Lies and Bullshit.I.—Jennifer Lackey - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):185-208.
Group assertion and group silencing.Leo Townsend - 2020 - Language & Communication 1 (70):28-37.
A Pathology of Group Agency.Matthew Rachar - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
Group Lies and Reflections on the Purpose of Social Epistemology.Liam Kofi Bright - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):209-224.
Group belief reconceived.Jeroen de Ridder - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
Group Creativity.Berys Gaut - 2022 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 92:5-26.


Added to PP

343 (#51,328)

6 months
187 (#11,337)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Neri Marsili
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

References found in this work

Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
Truth and objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Speech Acts.J. Searle - 1969 - Foundations of Language 11 (3):433-446.

View all 131 references / Add more references